Having the chance to read and review the stunningly charming children's book: Minette's Feast by Susanna Reich was a complete thrill for me. I was ecstatic when I won the book on a give-away that one of my favorite blogs, A Tonk's Tail...(err, Tale) had a few months ago.
Minette's Feast is the story of a cat that was adopted by legendary chef Julia Child while she was living in Paris.
I have always considered myself to be a "foodie", not just in the consumption of food, as evidenced by my "girlish" figure, but in my fascination for all things cooking, from collecting cookbooks, to being an avid "home cook" myself and watching cooking shows on PBS back in the days BEFORE there was ever a "Food Network." My favorite shows to watch in those days were: in no particular order:
The Galloping Gourmet starring Graham Kerr
The Frugal Gourmet starring Jeff Smith
Amish Cooking From Quilt Country starring Marcia Adams
Cooking Live with Sara Moulton
Mr.Food starring Art Ginsburg
everything by Martha Stewart
and of course The French Chef starring Julia Child
I had always found Julia Child and her quirky, often befuddled and always brilliant ways to be a particular joy to watch. I just couldn't get enough of her and it was the movie
Julie & Julia that made me go "Hmmm..." and planted the seed which would lead to the birth of Cat Chat.
I was thrilled when the blog, A Tonk's Tail offered a give-away of Minette's Feast: The Delicious Story of Julia Child and Her Cat. As you can probably tell, I won the book!
The illustrations in the book are particularly delightful. They were created using pencil and watercolor and the effect is simply beautiful. I was amazed at how skillfully and spot-on illustrator Amy Bates captured Julia's expression and posture!
Author Susanna Reich loved watching The French Chef as a child. She was "entranced by Julia's energy, sense of humor and unapologetic enthusiasm for cooking and eating." as so many of us were.
Reich had the honor of meeting Julia in 1993 when she designed the floral decorations as well as Julia's official birthday present for her 80th birthday party.
Some years later, when Reich began writing children's books Julia "lurked in the back of her mind as someone she would like to write about."
After reading Julia's memoir, My Life In France and discovering that Julia had a cat named Minette, that became the inspiration for this wonderful book.
Minette tells what it is like to smell and taste the many culinary delights that came from Julia's kitchen and describes them in a way that will be intriguing to children and adults alike. It brings back to life in a most unique and charming way the iconic Julia Child and introduces her to a new generation of "foodies."
From Minette's Feast:
"Une maison sans chat, c'est la vie sans soleil!"
"A house without a cat is like life without sunshine!"
and if the world of cooking hadn't had Julia Child, it would have been equally as dark.
If you have children or not, if you love cats, all things French, culinary and Julia Child, pick up this delightfully written and lovingly illustrated book, it is certain to satisfy!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: From Abrams Books:
Susanna Reich is an award-winning author of many fiction and nonfiction books. She lives in Ossining, New York. Visit www.susannareich.com. Amy Bates is the illustrator of The Dog Who Belonged to No One and Bear in the Air. She splits her time between the United States and Tokyo